We've been listening to the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky all month for composer study, but yesterday we read the story and did a sweet little craft to go along with it....going along with our 12 Days of Christmas Crafts, of course.
The craft I found for this book was called Good Fortune Walnuts. It's an old Victorian tradition of passing on good fortune to guests visiting at Christmastime.
First we carefully cracked open walnuts along the seam, which was quite difficult. I used a paring knife and inserted it into the end were that little gap is and twisted until it opened. We broke quite a few of them, but we got it to work!
We then cleaned all the nut meat out of the shell and painted the shells a lovely metallic gold.
Then the boys took little tiny pieces of paper and wrote "good fortunes" on them, such as love, wealth, health, joy. Then I helped them roll up the paper and tie them with a ribbon.
When the shells were dry, we put the fortune into the shell and carefully ran a thin line of tacky glue all the way around the edge of the shell. Before putting the other half of the shell on top, they put a little piece of ribbon on the top of walnut, looped over to form a hanger.
Ta-da!! Aren't they cute? I had to make a couple for myself! So, in Victorian days, when guests arrived, they could choose an ornament and use a nutcracker to break it open and see what their good fortune was!